'

U. Utah holds contest for best hacker

A tie to see who can write a database that handles 10,000 simultaneous users.

It was about as fun as watching a chess tournament, but Utah's finest programmers from the University of Utah's nationally ranked School of Computing duked it out for cash prizes to see whose Internet database could handle 10,000 connections at once, reports the Salt Lake Tribune

It wasn't a showy affair. Two nondescript conference rooms had four programmers each sitting in front of laptops clicking away. They were competing to see who could program an Internet database which could handle 10,000 connections at once to become "Utah's Best Programmer."

The competition was sponsored by Berkeley Data Systems, maker of the data backup program Mozy. These eight had out-programmed 114 other competitors, and the competition put contestants through their paces.

In the end, there was no clear winner. Each contestant solved the issue differently, so they divided up the prize money of $10,000, pocketing $1,250 each.

"It wasn't easy to see the grand prize slip away, but it was better than walking away with nothing, said Peter Jensen, one of the programmers. I'm ecstatic I got to be a part of this. It was a lot of fun to be working in tandem with seven other talented programmers. There was a real sense of camaraderie."